1,200 convicts escape Indonesian prisons in quake-tsunami zone

02 October, 2018, 14:40 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Scientists surprised by power of Indonesia tsunami

The confirmed death toll was raised to 1,234 on Tuesday afternoon, but national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said at a news conference in Jakarta that the communities of Sigi and Balaroa have not been counted yet, meaning the toll is likely to rise.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo has authorised the country to start to accept worldwide aid, as the official death toll continues to climb towards 1,000, with many more people still unaccounted for, days after the tsunami struck.

At least 840 people were killed and hundreds of houses and buildings have collapsed, according to the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency.

Most of the confirmed deaths were in Palu, a city of 379,000 people, where authorities were preparing a mass grave to bury some of the dead as soon as they were identified.

The death toll from the twin disasters has surpassed 800 and was expected to rise further, prompting authorities to announce mass burials in a desperate attempt to stave off disease. "UNICEF Indonesia, in partnership with the Government, is doing everything it can to respond to this emergency, which hit the country just one month after another powerful quake resulted in hundreds of deaths in Lombok".

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Sunday asked quake survivors to be patient as they wait for aid to be distributed upon arriving in Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Tuesday that his government had given $360,000 to help victims and was in talks with Indonesian authorities about a second round of aid.

"We have anticipated it by providing food, rice, but it was not enough".

A wasteland of flattened trees, shards of concrete, twisted metal roofing, doorframes and mangled furniture stretched out into the distance.

Nugroho confirmed nearly 62,000 people had lost their homes and many were still trapped underneath rubble in the Belaroa region.

Two people have been plucked from the 80-room Hotel Roa-Roa, Indonesia's search and rescue agency said, and there could still be more alive.

"What we need is food, water, medicine, but to up now we've got nothing", said an unidentified man standing in ruins.




One survivor, Adi, said he was hugging his wife by the beach when the tsunami wave - which measured up to 6m (20ft)- struck land.

Donggala's administration head Kasman Lassa said residents should take only food staples from shops. Some relatives turned up at the 50-metre trench where the smell of decomposition was overpowering.

"When the wave came, I lost her", he said.

Others have focused their search for loved ones around open-air morgues, where the dead lay in the baking sun - waiting to be claimed, waiting to be named.

Palates of supplies are en route to the affected area, with the Red Cross sending seven tons of logistical supplies from Jakarta on Tuesday.

Others crowded around daisy-chained power strips at the few buildings that still have electricity, or queued for water, cash or gasoline being brought in via armed police convoy.

He called for a "day and night effort" in response to the 7.5-magnitude quake - but landslides and damaged bridges are making access to some areas hard.

As of Tuesday afternoon, disaster agency estimated 99 people were missing, 799 were badly injured, 152 victims remained trapped under debris, there were 61,687 refugees created by the quake and tsunami and 65,733 houses had collapsed. Meanwhile, 10 Vietnamese are safe and at Palu's Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport camp. Rescue teams are attempting to dig them out.

The government of Indonesia has requested global assistance after a powerful 7.4 magnitude quake hit Central Sulawesi on September 28.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelagic nation with more than 17,000 islands, lies on the Pacific's "Ring of Fire", where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are frequent as a result of movements of tectonic plates.

"But the main issue is that they're in a panic because of the lack of logistics, food and petrol."

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